Capital 3 Central 0
National Women's League
Petone Memorial
Att : about 100 

Another fantastic day in Wellington, another National League game on, 
this time the Women's version.

Last season was one to forget for Capital, a very young side with a coach that only lasted a couple of games before Wendi Henderson stepped into steady the ship resulted in a 6th place finish with only 1 win. Central didn't fair much better finishing 1 point behind Capital also with just 1 win.

Capital this season have new co-coaches in Emma Evans & Sam Morrisery (although Sam was away with his other job, the Petone U19 girls at the Coastal Spirit tournament). The majority of the squad are the same as last season but now a year older and with more experience including U17 World Cup experience for Maggie Jenkins, Fran Grange & Emma Main. They have also added to the squad, most significantly with the return of Briar Palmer. I hadn't seen Palmer play but had seen comments from NZ Women's football guru, Jeremy Ruane and Enzo at In the back of the net that she was a quality signing.

And so it proved, Palmer's penetrating runs had Central on the back foot from the start and Capital could have easily been 3-0 up after 10 minutes but a combination of the bar and good saves from Central's Brooke Wylie kept the score at 0-0.

It was the 26th minute when Capital opened the scoring after a goalmouth scramble which is a lot easier to describe through these photos than words.

Capital's Michaela Robertson's shot hits the post : The Journey Fan
Central's Kate Barnett lunges at the ball : The JourneyFan
..and makes a crucial block on the goal line : The JourneyFan
Now Capital's Mikela Hunt (18) has a shot : The JourneyFan
Which is saved by Central's Brooke Wylie : The JourneyFan
But she can't stop Emma Main's (out of pic) return shot 1-0 Capital : The JourneyFan

2 minutes later a Maggie Jenkins free kick on the edge of the area sailed into the top corner and it was 2-0.

10 minutes later it was 3-0 when Michaela Robertson got a knee to a Briar Palmer cross.

Michaela Robertson gets a knee to the ball for Capitals 3rd goal : The JourneyFan
The first half had been all Capital, on the few occasions Central made it into the Capital half they were easily dealt with by the sold Capital defence.

The second half was a lot more even, Central changed their tactics and pushed their defensive line up which stopped Capital dominating the midfield as they had in the first half and also ended up with capitals forwards getting caught offside a fair bit.

Despite this and a couple of wobbles from Natasha Ingram in the Capital goal, Capital looked fairly comfortable and in the last 20 minutes as Central tired more they had several chances to increase the score. Although it seemed as if Central had imposed a force field around the goal as the ball did not want to go into the net. We even got to see the rare happening of Michaela Robertson winning a header, although how she missed the goal I don't think even she would know!

So a great first half from Capital, followed by a 2nd half which will give the coaches things to work on, but a lot more positive this season than last and who knows if they can keep up playing like they did in the first half they will be a match for the likes of Northern and Pride.

Capital's Briar Palmer & Central's Jenna Barry : The JourneyFan